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  1. #1
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    Please some info for a first time ride Seattle to Wenatchee. Thank you.

    Hello,

    This summer I will be again in the Wenatchee / Leavenworth area.

    I want to ride from Seattle to Wenatchee in mid July one way, I have not yet decided weather over Stevens pass or Snoqualmie/Blewett. I have read all the info on this forum regarding these rides, it is excellent info and I extend my thanks to those that have written it. I wanted to confirm one item just to make sure:

    It looks like Old cascade highway to Stevens pass is paved, whereas the Iron horse / John Wayne trail across Snoqualmie to Cle Elum is gravel

    Is this true? Is the Iron horse / John Wayne trail rideable with skinny tires assuming dry conditions?


    Thank you very much!

  2. #2
    Training Issaquatch's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do the Iron Horse on a road bike with skinny tires. I don't think it would work. I've only seen mountain bikes on that trail. If you want to do Snoqualmie Pass on a road bike, you would need to be on the shoulder of I-90 for much of the section between Tanner and the summit. The shoulder is very wide and has rumble strips to separate you from the cars, but traffic moves at 70+ mph.

    If you do Blewett, you should be aware that they are replacing the bridge that connects Old Blewett Pass to Highway 97, so you would probably need to stay on Highway 97 over Blewett Pass. I saw the bridge work a few days ago and it did not appear to be passable even on foot.

    Stevens is not bad. There are a few sections between Monroe and Skykomish where the shoulder disappears, including some bridge crossings, and the only safe option is to stop and wait for a good break in traffic and then cross quickly. This is easier to do early on the morning or midweek when the traffic is lighter. Old Cascade is very nice, though as you probably have read the last section includes a foot bridge you have to cross on foot and the pavement is a little rough after that, but definitely doable on a road bike with slick tires.

  3. #3
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I-90 itself over Snoqualmie Pass is closed to bikes right now because of the rock blasting/construction going on east of the Pass. If you want to go over I-90, your only choice is the Iron Horse.

    If you could put something like 700x28 tires on your bike you could probably manage the Iron Horse. But it's going to be one rough ride and your hands and butt are not going to like it If you spend some time studying google maps, you will see that there are back roads on both sides of the pass that will allow to stay off the trail except for the area around the pass down to Lake Easton and a short section just past Lake Easton. You'll want a really good light to get through the Tunnel (depending on where they make bikes get off I-90). Once you are closer to Cle Elum, you can take Bullfrog road and the back roads into Cle Elum and then up and over Blewett Pass (don't miss Old Blewett Pass, it's a nice ride if they get the bridge fixed).


    US2 is doable but as Issaquatch says, there are places both on the west and east side of the summit where the shoulder goes away and you have to be careful.

  4. #4
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    Thank you, great timely information. Too bad for the bridge on Old Blewett, looks like I am leaning towards Stevens.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    I've done the Iron Horse on a cross bike with 700x28 tires. At some points with deeper gravel, it was a struggle to stay upright. It was a very harsh and uncomfortable ride. Also, there are places where it's very pretty, but on the whole this isn't the most scenic route available. Plus, like other people mentioned, there's a tunnel to go through, so long (a few miles) that there will be no light except what you bring. It's moist and gravely in there. But there will be lots of creeks to drink from if you bring a purifier.

    Sections of US 2 will be uncomfortable as far as traffic goes. But I think it's the better choice.

    You can avoid the last 15 miles of Route 2 (the scenic Tumwater Canyon) if you go left at Cole's Corner, make a short detour at Lake Wenatchee, and then follow the Chumstick Highway into Leavenworth. This might add 5 or 10 miles to your journey, but it will cut the number of cars by 1/10th and every driver will be very polite and slow; if you stick to the highway they'll be fast and furious, sometimes passing you pretty close at 60 mph. Also, it's getting late in the year for the best scenery here.

    If you get a good map, you can make it most of the way from Leavenworth to Wenatchee on back roads.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  6. #6
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    Thank you!

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